the world health organization says there are signs that coronavirus has stabilised in china. however, it's cautioned against reading too much into the data, saying the outbreak could still worsen. china has announced a new way of classifying infections — leading to a jump in the reported number of cases. the italian far—right leader matteo salvini has responded with defiance, after the senate voted to strip him of his parliamentary immunity. mr salvini is now facing a trial for illegally detaining migrants at sea when he was interior minister last year. he said he would do the same again. pope francis has decided not to allow married men to be ordained as priests in remote regions where there is a shortage of clergy. a synod voted in favour of the proposal last year, but the pope has been under pressure from conservative factions not to relax rules on celibacy. now on bbc news: click.
it is time for the oscars and we're here to hand out the awards. there is best actor in a box. most surprising actor in a lead role. best performance by ajedi, and best film that has not yet been made. la, la, la, la land. it is oscars weekend and time for hollywood to give itself a pat on the back and time for the rest of us to be reminded there is a reason why the movie industry chose to live in southern california.
and with all of glamorous la to choose from, they put me ina box. in a warehouse. although it is the coolest box i have been in for a while because, this is bbc news. spoiler alert, i am welcome if you're watching not really in the box! here in the uk, on pbs i am out here. in america or around the globe. i'm lewis vaughan jones. that is virtual me our top stories: and it is called portl. the box itself is real, of course and the lights inside provide the illumination for the modified human—sized 4k lcd screen on the front. this can show pre—recorded video china changes the way it counts or live images of some loon messing the coronavirus the numbers about in front of a camera. have soared to a new high. italy's parliament votes to allow ex—interior minister matteo salvini to face trial for stopping migrants from landing. the pope says no to married priests, not even in the world's most remote regions. and a turtle as big as a car — scientists in south america what are my doing over there, unearth a fossil of giant proportions. though? what's he doing? the same? oh, yeah, of course. i must say, iam impressed. i figured out all these reasons why somebody might not want to do
a hologram and i've eliminated all those reasons. that is why we developed portl. while i have had fun with so—called holograms over the years, they have all needed huge set—ups with precisely—placed projectors and enormous pieces of glass or giant mesh and dark environments to allow the images to stand out. this one, however, is compact, portable and really bright. first things first, these are not holograms. you know what i think about the term hologram. but these are the most realistic not—holograms i think i have ever seen. the key is that this part of the screen is transparent, so if the camera moves left and right you can see the background move behind the character and that really gives you a feeling that they are there and that this is a sd image. a small piece of reflective floor and the shadow of the actor is also captured and sent to the booth, something that really adds to the realism. it is a thumbs up from me, really. he is not too happy, however.
oh, yes, he is. # send in the clowns. with thejoker leading the oscar pack this weekend with 11 nominations, it is not hard to see how the right kind of character inside one of these devices could have a film's marketing department going nuts. i'd like to see every cardboard cutout standing in a lobby replaced with a hologram portl. i want to go to a museum and then hologram einstein asks me a question. we could beam the next president of the united states from his or her own campaign office into all 50 states at the same time. with the ability to hear, see and interact with the audience they are beaming in front of in real—time. and david has another project on the go which is not live. pretty much the opposite, in fact.
one of the most famous things about the hologram industry is bringing back the dead. digital resurrections. guys like tupac and whitney, these are people who never gave their consent while they were alive but they have all become super famous holograms in death. and what we are doing is we filmed half a dozen of the world's most famous icons while they were alive so they could do the performance that they want to do. they hold the microphone how they want to, they sing the way they want to sing. it is not a body double and a cgi head, it's really them. it's less macabre and easier for the audience to get behind. we have stuck them in a hard drive ina cupboard we have stuck them in a hard drive in a cupboard somewhere. and when the time comes we can access the content and send them on tour. and, actually, that idea is where we go next. because there is currently a trend in resurrecting dead celebrities. the technology exists to put convincing cgi versions of actors into film.
it's raising a lot of issues. you are tearing me apart! what? did you know that james dean only ever made three movies before his death in a car accident in 1955? did you also know that after his death his image rights have been handled by mark rosler at cmg worldwide? a boy — a kid — was killed tonight! his memory, his value still resonate with young people around the world, struggling to understand themselves as teenagers and the rebel personality of james dean. so it has always been important for the family that future generations remember who james dean was. managing the business affairs of dead celebrities may sound unusual but it means that their estates get royalties from any paraphernalia that features their faces.
and these days, that does notjust mean mugs. we essentially want to bring james dean back so that he is an option for storytellers and for content creators to use him for traditional film, virtual reality, spatial computing, gaming, music, branded content. in the first james dean project will see a virtual version of this screen icon co—star in a vietnam war film called finding jack. so our intention is to put together a 3d virtual james dean using all the historical data, images and pictures and video that we have had over the course of the last 64 years. we've watched motion and facial capture technology
mature over the last 15 years or so, and it's now completely possible to capture an actor's performance and map their movements and expressions onto a different digital being. it's created monsters. it's made robert de niro and will smith young again. and it has even allowed a film's production to continue after its star's untimely death. but the james dean project takes this idea to a different level. using a celebrity's likeness not because the story demands it, but because some dead celebrities are bankable. it's not like you are creating a brand—new virtual being from scratch where you have to spend an ample amount of capital to create the awareness for him. people know james dean. he's an icon. but this is much more than blending old existing footage into new scenes.
this needs to be a completely flexible, 3d, photorealistic, fully—animatable believable version of a person that can act in new scenes and deliver new dialogue. and we humans may accept cgi monsters but we are biologically wired to spot any hint of a fake human. they just look wrong. they break the realism and they end up firmly in what's known as the uncanny valley. as i have learned about visual effect, a big part of illusion is how much time you are giving your artist to refine the work. oftentimes it's rushed and oftentimes it has been asked to do things that technology does not deliver well. previous attempts at cgi actors have been mixed and i wonder whether there's a certain quality threshold that you orjames dean's estate, for example, has to insist on? our expectations are very high. so the virtual assets that we create will evolve over time. this is not a one—time and it's perfect.
it's going to evolve. so ourjames dean that we will release for this movie may be a little different than the james dean we release a later date. but of course there is more to an actor than just theirface. that's just one part of the entire performance package. if you're going to pick an actor and put them into something new, you need to find a reference for them. you need another actor to do it. how much is it then their performance? or can you just take stuff from things they have already done but then it's not original. it is a bit of a minefield, i think. unsurprisingly, some actors have themselves expressed their annoyance. i don't think this is going to be replacing actors that are alive because they have talent that nobody can achieve unless you are physically alive, to be able to make those adjustments on the fly. but i also think that working
with a virtual stars and individual beings makes it easier to release and market content in the future. sometimes it is very easy to use a digital asset to promote what you were trying to get viewers to see versus hiring actors to promote content. that costs additional capital. so basically you've said living actors, human actors, are a bit of a pain and you would rather work with avatars? to some extent. it's — it's easy to work with deceased celebrities. hello and welcome to the week in tech. it was the week that uber received a permit which could allow itself driving cars back onto californian roads for testing nearly two years after a fatal accident in arizona. the uk government is bringing a ban on petrol, diesel and hybrid car sales forward from 2040 to 2035. and google's location data tracking is
now under a probe by the european regulator. it says it will establish if google was operating illegally and with due transparency. meanwhile, an artist in berlin tricked google maps into saying there was a trafficjam by dragging a wagon of smart phones around the streets. simon searched for directions on the app on 99 secondhand mobiles before hitting the streets, wheeling the handsets past google's german headquarters. scientists have successfully tested a device that prints bioskin. this artificial skin, first tested on pigs, is now a step closer to use in human burn clinics. scientists in israel have developed a tiny tank—like robot that can transform shape to step up and over obstacles. the reconfigurable continuous track robot uses just three motors to flex its body on a link—by—link basis to build its own track in the air. and finally, a i25—year—old film of a train has had an ai update.
a youtuber used neural networks to scale the famous lumiere brothers short into 4k so crisp it could have been shot on a modern smart phone. oh, jenny, you are so cute! she is said to be the most realistic robotic animal and i can tell you she feels pretty real. that nose almost feels wet and a little bit squidgy. and these dementia patients at las vegas‘s prestige senior living facility seem pleased to meet her. you are a good dog. she's awesome. you look real! look at those teeth. jim henson‘s creature shop is responsible for the lifelike
look, feel, movements and behaviour that have been built on top of this sensor—embedded voice—controllable robot. there's a great deal of research on the benefits of live animal therapy for seniors with dementia. it helps soothe the behavioural and psychological symptoms and reduces their need for certain medications. the problem is many seniors can no longer safely care for or have a live animal around them. with the robotic animals, it is important to introduce them early in the disease progression so that they have the cognitive abilities to form that attachment so when they are at a later stage in their dementia progression, the animal is already something that they turn to for comfort. it's a dog. i thought it was a real dog! this is really quite a strange experience because the dog does almost feel real and sound real. and everybody seems to be feeling that. but is that right?
there are people who, despite explaining to them that it is a robot, actually still believe that it's a real dog. we've looked at that from an ethical perspective and we are concerned about not tricking them. but on the other hand, you know, if it gives them comfort, that's really the goal. they like to suspend disbelief. they like to be able to relate to it as if it's a long—lost pet that they may have known in an earlier time. i would like to have you. and she could be solving a problem here that has already been identified. we started a while back, bringing dogs into the community because we felt like the dogs were a method of helping with loneliness and... what we found is that we have to pay just as much attention to the dogs as the human. does she ever not like people? she usually likes everybody. it wouldn't be better to design a robot dog that does
not like people. of course, not everyone likes dogs though. what we find is that the barking behaviour in a real dog robot triggers that fear response and so, one of the things that we can do in the setup of the robot is turn off the barking behaviours. yes, this rechargeable robotic dog's behaviour is customisable via a smartphone app but there are pros and cons to the whole thing. just before we started filming, she had to be rebooted and it was really quite disturbing as she temporarily died. she clearly did bring joy though and i can see the benefits of it being designed to sit on laps or raised surfaces rather than creating a tripping hazard on the floor. other breeds and a cat are in development but i was left with one real issue... i feel really bad that we have to take her away from them. now, recently, we've seen artificial
intelligence start to outperform humans in very specific tasks. but could ai ever predict a film's success better than the people who work here? that is the question that mark asked and this is the answer. ‘nobody knows anything', so said legendary screenwriter william goldman, who was talking about the movie business and how incredibly difficult it is to predict hits. that's why we end up with films like the reimagined robin hood. and godzilla: king of the monsters, both, absolute stinkers. in the movie game, predicting blockbusters is more art than science. this company thinks it's cracked the cash—breaking cinematic code. it claims its a! can help predict
a movie's success at the box office before it goes into production. i think when you say, ai making decisions about films, people get a bit edgy because they start thinking about robot directors or computers making artistic decisions and that is not what is really happening here. it is very much about the business side of the film industry. i caught up with the ceo at the company's hollywood office. up here, we have an example movie, detective pikachu. my god, you can understand me! just enter base information on a project, look at the synopsis. the kind of thing you see on imbd. what's the project, estimated budget, the rating, the genre, the keywords. all these sectors are very important because they determine how valuable the project is. and from there we build different tools that you can use
to evaluate that film. pikachu's voice actor, ryan reynolds, he could also run and compare ryan to potential comedians, comedy actors that might be suitable for that role. he is adorable. you're adorable. using the system, we can play a movie version of fantasy football, changing around elements like the casting. depending on the gradient to be provided with, this system protects the chances of financial success. not somebody who is a big name at the moment who probably would be alright for this film is a dwayne ‘the rock‘ johnson. we will put him in here. press the button. and now the system, otherwise everything stays the same when we calculate. as you can see, it predicts that there is more revenue. let's recast with damejudi dench. it drops quite a bit. i haven't seen you before, have i? all of the data is effectively
based on things that are already established. what happens when it comes to the wildcard movies, something that comes completely out of nowhere and that nobody could have predicted and caught everybody by surprise. what happens then? they will still catch everybody by surprise. outliers are outliers and they are called that because they don't happen very often. 5%, 3% of these movies. they actually are part of a group of outliers that everybody keeps talking about but in reality, it's a very slim minority. they are adamant that humans are still in the mix and that its software is an additional assistive tool for movie moguls. this is based on hard numbers, the business side of the industry. what about the scripts? is there anything out there that could tell you whether a script is good or not? i don't think there is anything out there that can tell you if a script is good, especially not quality good because right now... crosstalk. exactly, ai cannot understand whether a script is good.
the company's recently penned a deal with warner brothers but the studio insists the machine learning software will be used in the marketing and distribution side of things. as far as hollywood studios are concerned, humans remain in the picture... ..for now. we're going to do this, you and me. really interesting stuff isn't it. that was mark and of course, this weekend is oscar weekend so we will know very soon which films did well this year. we've been looking at some of the best in the vfx category and here is ourfinal nominee. long have i waited. confronts your fear, it is the destiny of a jedi. bringing carrie fisher back was an incredible tiered problem and i thought it was going to be difficult but i actually didn't appreciate how complicated it was going to be.
you can't do it for me. what we did was build this enormous matrix of all of the performances of carrie fisher from seven and eight and at that, essentially figured out all the lines she said and thenjj and chris terrio wrote the script around those lines. and the way that we chose to do it was for each of her performances, we cut out her face so that it is carrie playing princess leia and cut out her face and built a digital princess leia around the face. with different costumes. which meant of course, she could have a new hairstyle. she could have a new costume for this movie which would make her feel very unique to this particular project and then i think, the other thing we worked hard on to achieve, was the fact that she was interacting with elements in the scene or other actors. she walks past... this one moment she walks past rey and says never underestimate a droid.
those kind of interactions are key to make the audience believe she was really there at that moment. look at that fleet. there was about 16,000 galaxy ships turn up to save the day. it was notjust a matter of building the ships but you have to design them and you can't design 16,000 ships... well you can, but it would take a very long time. we would still be doing it now. and for the foreseeable future. what we did was, james clyne, who is the art director on the show for us, he and his team designed a whole bunch of ships and then we modelled those and then the guys wrote some computer programmes that basically made up ships from those component parts. because of the enormous amount of work involved in the detail of what we do, we try and sketch out a simple version of the rebel fleet.
so that everybody understands what the general idea of the moment might be and we can do a lot of those beings using more physically based ideas. for example, we know that when an explosion happens, there is a certain amount of force involved and certain things happen and when you see explosions like we're doing now, they're actually based upon real, physical burn rates of materials. how quickly an explosion might expand and what force that would have. a lot of that stuff looks more real because it is actually simulating a real event. the weird thing is that we just want to make our work vanish and for people to be unaware of it and for people to really believe that everything in the movie is actually happening. the force will be with you... always. and we wish all of the nominees the very best of luck of course. that is if from us here in hollywood. if you would like to join us,
you know where to find us, on facebook, youtube, instagram and twitter at bbc click. we will see you soon. hello there. wednesday saw a break in all this wild weather as more parts of the country enjoyed some sunshine and the showers became fewer. mind you, it's still a wintry scene in the hills across the northern half of the uk and here in southern scotland in particular. it's still cold in scotland as well. we are seeing the weather changing, the wind is strengthening from the south—west, pushing in all the cloud. for many parts of the country we will find rain continuing overnight, pushing in from the south—west of england where it will be particularly mild. further north we still have cold air so it is notjust rain but also snow and even in the rush
hour some snow falling in the central belt of scotland. most snow over the hills and central, southern england, and northern england and for northern ireland so it could be wintry for a while but it is mostly rain, even that petering out during the morning. further south, heavy showers and those will be driven on by some gale force winds across southern england through the english channel and channel islands with gusts of 60 mph. the winds will ease down a bit through the afternoon as they push into eastern england. further north, an improving story with many places drying off and brightening off, still damp and grey and cold for south—east scotland and north—east of england. the area of low pressure bringing all that weather is going to push away during thursday evening and by the time we get to friday we have the next weather system approaching from the north—west. in between overnight, a ridge of high pressure and clearer skies and it will get cold enough for a touch of frost, maybe some icy patches and a few fog patches first thing. the wind will pick up as it is already in northern ireland in the morning where we see wind and rain here and that will come down from the north—west. snow over the mountains of scotland this time and elsewhere the snow will melt because we get a south south—westerly wind,
much milder and temperatures will rise, 8—12 degrees. not much rain for eastern parts of england. it is getting milder on friday and that mild weather continues into the weekend but we also see the arrival of this deepening area of low pressure that is running between scotland and iceland and that is storm dennis and dennis will be a menace through the weekend into monday. two main elements to the weather. first, the wind strength reaching 60 mph, and there will be some very big waves as well. secondly, the rain. that will be heavy at times, particularly across england and wales, over four inches possible over the hills of wales 00:27:27,168 --> 2147483051:50:28,299 and the south—west, 2147483051:50:28,299 --> 4294966103:13:29,430 threatening more flooding.